By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Traders in Calabar, the Cross River State capital have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to establish centers in the markets for the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise in a bid to reduce apathy towards registration.
This was contained in a release issued during the weekend by the National Association of Seadogs (NAS), also known as Pyrates Confraternity after interacting with traders during their sensitisation awareness march within the Marian market and environs to draw the people’s attention on the need to take advantage of the August 31 extension deadline.
The traders, the release said, complained that they have lost hope in the CVR exercise due to the delays in the registration and collection of their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC).
A trader, Mr. Chidi Okoro, said he had faced frustration twice in the last one month as a result of slow process while attempting to register at the Calabar Municipal area office of INEC.
“I have gone to INEC office twice to attempt to register but it was never successful because of the slow process. Tens of persons will be in the queue for several hours without movement. I have had to retire back to my shop twice because of the frustrating registration process,” he said.
Another trader, Mrs. Udeme Akpan, said she had not attempted to register at the INEC office because of the negative complaints from those who have attempted to register.
Mrs. Akpan, however, called on the commission to open a registration center in market places so that traders could take advantage of the closeness to either register or collect their PVCs.
“A lot of us cannot afford to leave our businesses to face frustration with the registration process. We are requesting INEC to consider opening registration centers in market places, I can assure you that the level of participation will double,” she said.
And, the Calabar Municipal chapter President of NAS, Mr. A.M Peter, called on INEC to consider making the process less cumbersome for eligible citizens in order to reduce apathy towards registration.
NAS also called on INEC and the state government to increase its sensitisation campaign as a lot of citizens are still not aware that the PVC registration process is ongoing.
He said, “This complaints have become germane for the body concerned to look into. We know the task of carrying out the exercise is demanding. It will be good to consider their views.”
The street awareness march is in line with the association’s ‘Our-Votes-Count campaign’ on PVC registration and collection especially as the state office of INEC has said there are over 100,000 uncollected PVCs.
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